Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Manitowoc County’s credit one notch to A1 ahead of its sale of $5 million of note anticipation notes this week due to its pressured financial position. The action affects $21 million of debt.

Proceeds from the Nan issue — which received top short-term marks — will provide interim financing for construction of the county’s joint dispatch center and information systems project. The notes will be refunded next fall with taxable refunding Build America Bonds.

Moody’s expects that the county will continue to face financial pressures due to weak revenues that are not expected to rebound over the near-term. In fiscal 2008, the county closed its general fund with an operating deficit of $4.1 million.

While officials estimate that revenue may be under budget by up to $1.5 million this year, the county has taken measures to offset the shortfall with expenditure reductions. The 2010 budget anticipates tapping general fund reserves.

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